San Francisco, which has one of the country’s priciest real estate markets, is looking to join cities like New York City, Washington, DC, and Chicago by providing housing incentives to lure and retain teachers. Between the fall of 2005 and the summer of 2007, the city lost 16 percent of its teaching force.
In a recent study, the San Francisco Department of Children Youth and Families disclosed that housing incentives were the number one perk to encourage teacher retention. Responding to his city’s initiative, Mayor Gavin Newsome said, “This is a high priority for us. This [subsidizing teacher housing] is an opportunity to demonstrate the priority in a meaningful and substantive way.”
San Francisco hopes to offer 75 teachers housing support at first, increasing the number to 200 within three years. The San Francisco Unified School District is also speaking to developers about how district property could be used to create affordable teacher housing.
Another city offering incentives to draw teachers to the area is New Orleans. City officials are targeting educators in Houston, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Minneapolis with a big incentive package, which includes relocation expenses and a year’s worth of housing costs for those willing to make a three-year commitment.